Wind farms in Ohio pit environmentalists against some neighbors tired of noise, view

PAYNE, Ohio — From the ground, the narrow aluminum ladder might as well extend to infinity. Actual height: 290 feet.

A Dispatch videographer straps on a protective harness, hard hat and safety glasses, joined by two employees of the farm’s operator, EDP Renewables. They are about to climb inside one of 55 wind turbines at Timber Road II wind farm in Paulding County.

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Jeremy Chenoweth, left, and Benjamin Werkowski, managers with EDP Renewables, work hundreds of feet in the air, atop one of the wind turbines that the company operates in Paulding County in the northwestern corner of Ohio. | Doral Chenoweth III | Dispatch

Powering the plains

Wind used to be a farmers’ nemeses.

Then it created power, and became a savior for land that doesn't always yield a bountiful harvest.

Kansas has seen more growth in the wind energy industry than any other state except Texas. On some days, wind generates between a third and half of the electricity to Kansas and surrounding states, creating thousands of jobs.

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Where the wind blows in Kansas. | GateHouse Media